The subject of hugs as a social lubricant surfaced recently in the comments. Before continuing, I’ll say that hugs as a tactile ploy to quickly escalate physical comfort with a girl is an entirely different matter than hugs as they are used by girls when meeting friends or even loosely affiliated acquaintances. The former is an established game technique; the latter is, well… emasculating.
Gadfly Amy writes,
This is an interesting observation. I hug people all the time, and you are right, the “alpha” guys don’t really hug back. They don’t freeze up and act uncomfortable or nervous… they just don’t physically react. They make me do the work.
Hugging is all the rage in SWPL-land. And it’s something I could do without. But some social forces are so deeply ingrained that even the mighty iconoclast you know and luv, Highlander Heartiste, must bend to the will of the herd.
Although hugging is a great kino escalation tactic, in nearly every other context it’s phony and suspiciously emasculating. People (mostly women) feel the pressure to hug, and like lemmings they dive right over the personal space cliff to hug everybody from exes to bosses to friends of friends to friends of friends of boss exes. Whatever import accompanied the practice has long ago been stripped mined from it by perfunctory overuse.
Hugging is Depo-Provera for the Androgyne Generation. It’s the final snippity snip of soft castration for men whose testes are already halfway ascended to their diaphragms. It’s a comforting boundary in a world of hair-trigger offense, and a reprieve from busting a move to get the girl.
Hyperbole? Ok, try imagining Don Draper hugging Peggy or Joan or his secretary du jour every time they got together at a party. Try picturing James Bond hugging a woman he had no intention of seducing into bed. Try imagining your father, or your grandfather, or this guy, asexually hugging women at a backyard barbeque.
It is to laugh.
Fact: If you aren’t initiating hugs to fast-track a familiarity that can be leveraged into quick seductions, or you aren’t hugging a girl as post-coital homage to her bedside acrobatics or sympathy for her dead grandma, then the hug you are receiving is beta.
Naturally, if I have to put up with hugging I’m gonna press in real close if the hugger is a cute girl with a big rack. That’s called making smoosh juice out of lemons. And lemons it is, because hugging, besides feeling like a coerced gesture to which one submissively relents, is in most ways subtly desexualizing. I don’t know when or how the practice got to be the go-to social greeting among self-regarding liberal whites (aka alien grays), but I’ve no doubt that many women now deploy it as a means of preemptively dissipating any simmering sexual energy that might radiate from a man who still has stones knocking between his legs.
In some cases, the sexual energy she subconsciously seeks to dissipate is her own. Which is flattering to the man, until he stops to think that the hug is basically the girl pulling a Heisman on him.
Exceptions exist. Hugging is occasionally an overt come-on by a girl who wants to communicate her sexual intent using tools deemed safe and plausibly deniable by broad social acceptance. If you can tell that’s happening to you, then by all means welcome that hug and let your hand drop to the top of her ass.
But more often, hugging is a female power move to claim control of a man’s beastly sexuality. It’s emasculating in the sense that the hugger feels so at ease in your company, so blissfully unthreatened by your percolating sexuality, that she can swoop right into your flaccid body and press her supple flesh into your spirit house. Not in your house? Oh yes, in your house.
The female hug is a nonverbal message delivery vehicle. It can say “Wow, I like this guy and just want to feel his strong swaying manboobs”, or, more typically for your average SWPL betaboy who must entertain upwards of ten friendzone hugs per day, it says, “Wow, this guy is such a team player, but just in case he’s got life left in that microbone of his, I’m gonna arouse him with the proximity of my body and drink of his nourishing despair as he realizes the extent of his paralyzed impotence.”
You don’t want to be that guy. But what to do when the world is hug-happy and refusal would assuredly consign you to the disinvite list?
Based on what I’ve seen charming alphas do, there are two effective countermeasures. One, you can do as Amy observed, and let your body hang in languid repose, forcing the girl by your inaction to assume all the sexual pre-penetrative tension that is always bubbling not far underneath the polite veneer of a hug. Call it, “amused receivership”. The trick is to substitute calm indifference for rigid discomfort. Done right, it’s a great way to non-verbally wedge a girl into the “chaser” role. She’ll feel like she’s doing all the work, so you as a man must be worth it.
The other method requires a more cantankerous personality. When she moves in for the hug, agree and amplify. As she’s hugging, let your hands roam over her back and hips. Exaggerate your pleasure for the entertainment of the crowd or for your own amusement. Smile like you’re getting a hummer and press harder into her. Moan a little. Sexualize the hug. Accuse her of copping a cheap feel, or making you feel dirty. Force her world to accommodate your insolent penile aura. She’ll either be aroused by your manly effrontery and begin to contemplate unclothed transactions with you, or she’ll be thrown into a state of perturbation and think twice before hugboxing you again as if you were a little eunuch doll.
Either way, you win. If the second method should scandalize the gathered, prep them with a clownish attitude. This way there’s less chance they’ll mistake your gropings for anything but physical humor. If she, or her friends, really chafe at your impudence, you shouldn’t be hanging with such uptight pussies anyhow.
How do your girl friends greet you, then? How do you expect/want them to greet you?
I don’t press up against guys when I hug them, it’s a greeting type hug, quick, and I usually kiss them on the cheek. The only exception is if I’m really glad to see them for a specific reason, i.e. the other night I saw a friend of mine who just recovered from a freak illness that almost killed him. I was so happy to see him out and looking healthy that I hugged him hard. But I don’t think anyone would confuse that with a sexual advance.
You underestimate the proclivity of men to interpret all variety of female attention as a cry for copulation. But to your question, long-time close girl friends I have no intention of fucking may get a hug now and then. Mostly though, there is a tacit understanding that it’s cool to get together without having to grease the friendship wheel with gobs of histrionic symbols of affection.
The French have it right, like they do in so many matters of intersex politesse. If you must have a physical greeting with women you aren’t fucking, the lean in, arm grab, and air kiss on the cheek is sufficient. Otherwise, just chill and go for the high five, pulling away at the last second leaving her hand flapping in empty air, after which you execute the “who’s gay” finishing move.
Failing that, there’s always the fist bump, a gesture which ironically works a lot better to establish your alluring dominance when used on girls than on male friends.